by Tom Bosschaert

Oct. 27, 2015

Tom Bosschaert

Scientists discovered that life emerged 300 million years earlier than previously thought, Iceland sents 26 top bankers to prison, and botox might limit your emotional capabilities. Read all about it in this Wormfood.

Global News: Life Much Older than Previously Thought

  • Scientists have found fossil-like hints that some kind of life existed on Earth 4.1 billion years ago — when the planet was a mere volcanic toddler. That's 300 million years earlier for life to pop up than previously thought.

  • These climate change graphics & data are a great resource to deepen your understanding of the phenomenon and simple actions you can take to fight climate change.

  • Explore this causal loop diagram to understand why drilling more holes is not a sufficient answer to water shortages.

Energy & Environment: Avoiding Conflict Minerals

  • A new certification framework developed by a group of African nations makes it easier for companies to weed out conflict minerals from their supply chain.

  • A study shows that sunscreen contributes to the decline of coral reefs. It is killing off baby coral around tourist resorts, particularly in the Caribbean and Hawaii.

  • Indonesia’s fire outbreaks produce more daily emissions than the entire US economy. This NASA image shows a section of the Indonesian side of Borneo 258 miles (415 kilometers) wide, extending from the center to the south coast of the island.

Business & Economy: Saudi Arabia in Trouble

    • Saudi Arabia’s cash reserves are in free-fall according to the IMF, with a new estimate that the world’s richest kingdom may be bankrupt by 2020.

    • Iceland sents 26 top bankers to prison for their role in the financial crisis. The prosecutions are the result of Iceland’s banksters manipulating the Icelandic financial markets after Iceland deregulated their finance sector in 2001.

    • The Uruguayan government decided to end its involvement in the secret negotiations of the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). TISA is a radical new deal that aims to go far beyond current trade rules and force States to further open their markets to foreign corporations, privatize public services and reduce regulations.

    • Shell stops Arctic activity after 'disappointing' tests.

Science, Technology & Design: Minority Report for Real

  • Tech company Hitachi announced that it’s developed a new technology that can pinpoint where and when a crime will occur. The system gobbles massive amounts of data—from public transit maps, social media conversations, weather reports, and more—and uses machine learning to detect patterns.

  • A review of studies that assess clinical antidepressants shows hidden conflicts of interest and financial ties to corporate drugmakers. Meta-analyses by industry employees were 22 times less likely to have negative statements about a drug than those run by unaffiliated researchers.

  • Nasa scientists find evidence of flowing water on Mars.

Urban Environment: Caring People into Change

  • Glasgow halved its murders by 'caring people into change'. McCluskeyof the Violence Reduction Unit believes inequality breeds violence. She wants “a revolution” in how we tackle violence – by focusing on the traumatic environments in which so many offenders are reared.

  • Legalizing drugs:

    • Iran could be the next country to legalize marijuana — and opium.

    • Mexico supreme court to discuss legalizing recreational marijuana.

    • Canada's newly elected Liberals may legalize marijuana. That could impact US drug policy.

  • Gay rights:

    • Saudi diplomat refuses to discuss gay rights at UN, claiming it is 'counter to Islamic law’.

    • Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe shouts 'We are not gays' during UN address.

Unexpected and Intriguing: Lenin converted into Darth Vader

  • Odessa converts Lenin statue into a monument to Darth Vader.

  • Golf, extravagant drinking and sex outside marriage are now banned in the China Communist Party.

  • Studies suggest that botox limits the ability to process the emotional content of language, and may lower the quality of emotional experiences because facial muscles are paralyzed.

  • An app which tracked US drone strikes has been removed from the App Store by Apple. It was pulled last weekend due to “excessively crude or objectionable content”.

If you come across news items suited for the Wormfood, or a theme you would like to see a newsletter being dedicated to, please let me know and we'll do our best to make some magic happen.

Oct. 27, 2015